VS clarity diamond - roundVS clarity diamond - round

Is a VS Clarity Diamond a Good Choice?

When is a VS clarity diamond the best option for your engagement ring? Learn about diamond clarity grades and how to choose the stone that’s right for you.

5 Minute Read

HomeDiamond AdviceThe 4 Cs of Diamonds - ClarityIs a VS Clarity Diamond a Good Choice?

IGS may receive customer referral fees from the companies listed in this page.

Looking for the perfect diamond? A VS clarity diamond might be the best option for you. Learn everything you need to know about VS1 and VS2 diamonds and how to get the best diamond within your budget.
  • VS clarity diamond - round
  • vs diamond round from the side

    This VS2 clarity diamond is the perfect fit for this ring. © CustomMade. Used with permission.

    No matter what clarity grade you choose, you must look at closeup video of your diamond before you buy, to ensure it's well-cut and free of large, dark imperfections. We recommend James Allen for just this reason. Their 40x magnification videos make searching for diamonds online much easier.

    Alternatively, a custom jeweler like CustomMade will work with you to find the best diamond for your style and budget. You'll also get a beautiful, unique ring!

    What is a VS Diamond?

    The "VS" designation refers to "Very Small" inclusions in a diamond. However, just because they're there doesn't mean that you can see them. In fact, it usually takes 10x magnification to find these imperfections. So, if you're not using a jeweler's loupe, the diamond will likely be eye-clean. That means you won't see imperfections with the naked eye.

    This VS2 clarity diamond has imperfections, but they're tough to see without magnification. Check out the video at James Allen.

    Within the VS category, a diamond can have either "VS1" or "VS2" clarity. In a VS1 diamond, the imperfections are smaller and harder to see. Nevertheless, a VS2 clarity diamond will rarely have any imperfections visible to the naked eye.

    Is a VS Diamond Right For Me?

    Three things will help you decide whether to purchase a VS diamond: your budget, the diamond shape you want, and your buying style. Once you learn how to evaluate these factors, you can either choose VS clarity or opt for a different grade.

    VS or SI Clarity on a Budget

    Obviously, diamonds with a lower clarity grade, like SI, "Slightly Included," will be more budget-friendly than a VS diamond. So, if you want to get the biggest diamond that appears flawless to the naked eye, consider a diamond with an SI1 or even SI2 clarity.

    Compare these four diamonds. Each is a one-carat, F color stone with an excellent cut, but their clarity grades range from VS1 to SI2. The price difference is huge — $2,060! That's a nice chunk of cash to save for the honeymoon.

    • vs1 clarity diamond
      VS1, $6,270
    • VS2 Clarity
      VS2, $5,850
    • si1 clarity
      SI1, $4,840
    • si2 clarity
      SI2, $4,210

      Click through the slideshow or compare these diamonds on the James Allen site.

      Diamond Shape and Clarity

      A high clarity grade like VS could be a better option than SI, depending on your diamond shape preference. Most diamond shapes are "brilliant cuts," which hide imperfections well. This includes the popular round, princess, and cushion cuts. On the other hand, emerald and asscher-cut diamonds are "step cuts," which reveal imperfections more easily.

      Even with a VS2 clarity, some step-cut diamonds still have visible imperfections. Notice how this emerald-cut diamond from James Allen reflects an imperfection.

      So, if you prefer a step-cut diamond, get the best VS1 or VS2 clarity stone your budget will allow. For other diamond shapes, you'll save some money by choosing an SI diamond, instead.

      vs1 emerald cut
      This VS1 clarity emerald-cut diamond looks absolutely flawless in its setting. © CustomMade. Used with permission.
      Find this Ring
      at Custom made

      What's Your Buying Style?

      If you're detail-oriented and willing to put in the time to find an eye-clean diamond with a lower clarity grade, opting for an SI diamond will save you some cash.

      On the other hand, if you don't like shopping and just want to buy something quickly, a VS clarity diamond might be a better choice. These diamonds usually have no visible imperfections. So, if the price difference isn't an issue, select a VS instead of an SI. Just make sure the diamond doesn't have a large, dark inclusion in its center. Imperfections like these are the most visible type. They might even be noticeable in an engagement ring or other jewelry piece.

      Although step cuts usually hide imperfections well, a dark inclusion in this SI1 clarity cushion-cut diamond is reflected throughout the stone. Avoid this type of look. © James Allen.

      VS Clarity Fancy Colored Diamonds

      A VS clarity fancy colored diamond offers a rare combination of vibrant hue and superior clarity, exhibiting minimal imperfections visible only under magnification.  The presence of inclusions in fancy colored diamonds is often more tolerable due to their unique coloration, which can mask or complement internal features. However, higher clarity grades like VS can still enhance the overall beauty and brilliance of the stone, particularly in larger or more transparent fancy colored diamonds. 

      Ultimately, it's essential to balance clarity with other factors such as color intensity and cut quality to find the most visually appealing and valuable diamond for your preferences and budget.

      Should I Buy a VS Clarity Diamond?

      Overall, VS clarity is a great option for most diamond buyers. These stones almost never have visible imperfections. Their pricing is also much more affordable than that of diamonds with higher clarity.

      You won't notice any imperfections in this pear-shaped VS2 diamond. © CustomMade. Used with permission.
      Find this Ring
      at CustomMade

      Still, if you have time and a little patience, shopping for an SI clarity diamond may lead you to a slightly bigger diamond, and a bigger diamond means more sparkle!

      Check out these two diamonds. For $270 less you can get a diamond with a higher carat weight and a 7% larger face-up area.

      • vs2 clarity
        1.00 ct VS2, $5,630
      • si1 clarity
        1.09ct SI1, $5,360

        Click through the slideshow or compare these diamonds on the James Allen site.

        Assessing Clarity

        Watch out for large, dark inclusions in the center of a VS clarity diamond. These imperfections may be visible to the naked eye. In most cases, the diamond will have multiple, smaller imperfections spread out in the stone. These are much less noticeable. Inclusions near the edges of the stone are also less noticeable, since the sparkle in this region hides them well.

        Some clarity issues can also affect a diamond's durability. Just because diamonds are the hardest minerals doesn't mean they can't chip or break. For example, twinning planes can make the diamond more likely to break. James Allen has gemologists ready to chat with you about their diamonds. Their experts can help you choose eye-clean diamonds with no potentially disastrous imperfections.

        Addison Rice

        A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

        Never Stop Learning

        When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.

        Become a Member

        Get Gemology Insights

        Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!